Doncaster lass's DIY efforts go viral as she struggles to do up her home

Carpentry runs in the blood for Doncaster lass Vikkie Richmond.

Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 5:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 4:48 am
Doncaster DIY Blogger Vikkie Richmond on her step ladder

The 35-year-old from Armthorpe had a father and a grandfather who ran the G and L Richmond saw mill, on Barton Lane, in her home village. It was originally opened by grandfather George, and passed on down the family to dad Leonard.

As a child she would spend time there herself, creating items like keyrings from offcuts that her dad did not need.

Doncaster DIY Blogger Vikkie Richmond on her step ladder

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But she had no plans to work in that field. During her schooldays, she did work experience at the Doncaster Star, and after leaving Armthorpe School, she studied for an English and journalism degree in Lincoln, and started to make a bit of money on the side by selling things over the internet.

After leaving college, she got a job in retail as a branch manager for Austin Reed, but became disillusioned with the job, and left after eight years there in 2011.

Initially, she returned to selling things on the internet.

Then in 2014, she and fiance David bought a house to try to get on the property ladder. It needed a lot of work doing to it, and Vikkie described it as the cheapest property in the area. It had been on the market for three years.

At that point, she knew nothing about DIY. But the move changed her life - and now it has led to her becoming an internet sensation with her viral on-line DIY videos, under the name The Carpenter's Daughter.

She said: "I had seen my parents refurbish houses - they used to do it in three months and then let them out. Because I'd seen them doing that, the house did not put me off, and I was up for the challenge, and I thought I could make it a profitable venture.

"So I scrapped the internet selling and stripped the inside of the house. My parents initially said I'd made it look worse.

"I'd already started putting recipes on the internet, and done a food blog. My fiancee said if I put as much energy into doing the house up as I did the blog, it'd be renovated in no time.

"So I thought if I started filming some of the work, I could maybe help people as well.

"Initially, I filmed myself converting an old electrician's van into a camper van - it got more engagement than my food channel, and that was just filmed on my mobile phone rather than the proper camera.

"So I started filming myself doing things that I needed to do rather than cooking for the sake of it, and filming genuine stories."

The videos have documented Vikkie learning as she goes. Sometimes, she tried her hand at jobs after ringing her dad or her father-in-law for advice.

Her father-in-law told her how to lay a patio, and she followed up by doing the job.

"I never did any DIY until I was 31," she said. "I was more interested in things like art and painting. I started quite late, but I think most people start DIY after buying a house."

It is not just the successes that Vikkie records. He once created a driveway, only to discovered she could hardly open the garage door as a result of what she had done. She then had to rip it up and start again.

"People said it was refreshing to see someone admit their mistakes," she said. "I don't always show mistakes as a really long video, but I explain what I've got wrong."

"I can make a living as long some of the videos go viral. The main thing is that you're honest with people - that's the most important thing."

She tries to only use tools that most people would have around their homes.

She believes it helps that she is a woman in a sector dominated by men, but tries not to play on her gender. "You get the occasional sexist comment, but I think I stand out," she said.

"Many times I've been told I won't be able to do something. That just makes me more determined."

She has not ruled out taking over the family saw mill if her dad wants her to one day, but thinks she would probably do it differently.

In the future Vikkie is looking at future projects involving plumbing for the first time.

She is now working on her second house,

"It will keep me with material for quite some time," she said.

You can see more of Vikkie in action on